Casa Solada is a boutique hotel located in the high-end neighbourhood of Munyonyo, Kampala. The hotel's design is inspired by Mediterranean architecture and delivers a luxurious, serene and exclusive experience. ARK Africa was commissioned to undertake a complete brand creation & positioning of the hotel including naming, visual identity and a signage and way-finding system.
To develop a strong brand identity, we built the foundation on three creative threads that connected strongly with the owners’ ethos and the essence of the hotel.
First was brilliance and light – the hotel, although small and understated, delivers immense value like a hidden gem. The original working name for the hotel was “Ihangwe,” which means Bright Day. Munyonyo, derived from “okunnyonyola,” means to expound, to educate, inform, or to enlighten.
Second was feelings of home – comfort, warmth, and familiarity.
Finally, the idea of timelessness – exemplified by the Mediterranean architecture, their choice of Victorian furniture, and the high-quality handcrafted finishes in the hotel.
Combining these creative threads gave birth to a creative naming direction inspired by “The Sun”. The sun embodies all three threads – it is bright and brilliant, warm and nourishing, and timeless. The name “Solada” was derived from the Spanish word “soleada”, meaning sunny. The word “Casa” was added to tie the name to both Spanish (the language) and ideas of home, resulting in the name “Casa Solada Hotel.”
For the visual identity, we aimed to convey an old-world charm, a hand-crafted nature, and a connection to the architecture. The team explored several different directions and finally settled on the arched doorway. The shape is very common throughout the hotel in windows and doorways.
The logo was hand-drawn in a (sk)etched artistic style to emphasise the aged, distinguished, and timeless nature of the brand.
Room signs, directional signs, external signs. In total we designed over 100 individual signs for the hotel and although we carried out this project mostly remotely, we were able to coordinate with a Kampala-based signage provider to design and install beautiful signage that not only serves its purpose but also compliments the hotel’s architecture and interior design.
The outcome of ARK Africa’s branding efforts is a timeless brand identity that embodies the true values of the hotel. The brand identity captures the imagination of the target audience and provides a strong platform for the hotel’s future. Casa Solada is now fully open and welcoming guests from around the world.
The branding of Casa Solada is a great example of how a creative strategy, combined with a deep understanding of the target audience and brand values, can result in a beautiful yet functional brand identity. ARK Africa’s efforts have helped in successfully establishing Casa Solada as a premier boutique hotel that offers luxury, serenity, and exclusivity to its guests.